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RMolloy24

How often should I practice?

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I just joined here and I'm starting to play golf more and more, especially with a 3 month summer break coming! Anyway, I'm only 13 and I have a 36 HI and I really wanna get down to at least 8. How often should I practice? Also, I really need to improve my driving.

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If your handicap is a 36 and you want to get it down to an 8 in 3 months, you're going to have to practice for at least 4 hours a day.

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Originally Posted by tmac20

If your handicap is a 36 and you want to get it down to an 8 in 3 months, you're going to have to practice for at least 4 hours a day.

How many balls would that be?

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Sorry, let me rephrase that. What should I practice? Hour of irons, hour of chipping, hour of putting, hour of driving? Or should I just play a round of 18 everyday? Sorry, I'm kind of new to golf.

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Originally Posted by RMolloy24

Sorry, let me rephrase that. What should I practice? Hour of irons, hour of chipping, hour of putting, hour of driving? Or should I just play a round of 18 everyday? Sorry, I'm kind of new to golf.

A pretty smart fellow wrote this: http://thesandtrap.com/t/58816/65-25-10-practice-ratios-where-to-devote-your-practice-time

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

A pretty smart fellow wrote this: http://thesandtrap.com/t/58816/65-25-10-practice-ratios-where-to-devote-your-practice-time

Take note of the "glaring weaknesses" disclaimer, if there is an area where you are obviously weaker you should adjust the ratios accordingly but the ratios presented in this thread are a great starting point and the reasoning behind them may surprise you.

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

Take note of the "glaring weaknesses" disclaimer, if there is an area where you are obviously weaker you should adjust the ratios accordingly but the ratios presented in this thread are a great starting point and the reasoning behind them may surprise you.

Thanks

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Dropping your handicap that far will require a full time commitment.  Hundreds of balls a day of quality practice, not just banging balls to hit.  I only get about four hours a week to practice in two 2 hour sessions.  Some days, usually if everything is in sync and I'm hitting it well, I may hit 150+ balls in 2 hours but if there's something that I have to really work on, like changing my backswing, or if I'm struggling with my iron play, I may take 2 or 3 minutes per ball.  Quality of practice beats quantity of practice every time.

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Originally Posted by RMolloy24

I just joined here and I'm starting to play golf more and more, especially with a 3 month summer break coming! Anyway, I'm only 13 and I have a 36 HI and I really wanna get down to at least 8. How often should I practice? Also, I really need to improve my driving.

You are about to embark on a journey filled with disappointment, disgust, confusion, negative swing thoughts, painful reality, confidence killers and the urge to quit. These don't go away, they just happen less often as gain experience. This 3 month timeline you are giving yourself is unreasonable to get to a number that is arbitrarily picked from thin air. As you develop, your handicap will lower in plateaus as your skill level with certain parts of the game become better. When one aspect gets better, the easier it is to practice that one thing and neglect the others. This is the reason why people's handicap stays within the same spread for a long time. You will have to become a master at constant evaluating and re-evaluating.When you become aware of your deficiencies, which are always there but may be hidden, and work to better them then and only then will your handicap drop but only slightly. There are no amount of balls you can hit that will prepare you for the pressure of playing in front of a gallery on your tee shot. There is no handicap that will prepare you for playing against an annoying person that you get paired with. There is no handicap that will give you the ability to perform the types of shots that you will need to navigate a tough course. A handicap is an identifier of skill (not necessarily the best indicator) and does not necessarily tell the amazing ability of a golfer or poor ability of a golfer. You will find in your journey experienced golfers that can shoot an 80 everyday of the week with a pitching wedge and putter only, even with high winds and rain. You can also find people that have played for a few months and can shoot the same score but need every break to go their way.

What I wish for you is that you enjoy this wonderful game. I wish for you the wisdom to know that this game owes nobody anything. I wish for you the skill to perform a shot the way you see it in your mind. I wish for you the patience and humility it takes to fully enjoy the game. I wish for you the ability to see your own faults and the intelligence to quickly correct them. I wish for you the best of this game. Its not the number that you write on the score card, its the journey to be blessed with the ability to write that number on your scorecard. Good luck on your journey!

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Wow. ^^^ That is not just a reasoned response, but also beautifully written. Especially the last couple paragraphs. Thanks! And good luck to the OP, and to all of us who love this crazy game!

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+1 on UncleRobot's well written response.  I hope that other new players could have an opportunity to read that response and find hope in their journey that is golf.

To the OP, as a high handicapper that has continuously worked on his game the last 4 years one of the best tips I can give you is start simple.  Putting practice can be done at home anytime.  A good putter can cut major strokes off of their game.  Even if you are facing a 60 footer a good putter can put it within 3 feet of the cup everytime for a two putt.  If you start three and four putting holes the extra strokes start adding up.  Also, chipping and pitching can be easily be practiced in the backyard, a local park, etc.  Chipping / pitching it close or even in can save pars and bogeys.

I know everyone wants to drive the ball 300+ yards but if you can putt well and have a great short game you can often beat the guy who can crush it but can't putt worth a darn.

One key aspect I also encourage you to work on is the mental aspect.  Until 2 years ago I did not realize how important it is.  After reading some key books on the mental game my scores actually started improving because I was able to be more focused, relaxed, and I enjoyed the game more.  I highly recommend Dr. Joe Parents "Zen Golf" and "Putting Out of Your Mind" as well as Dr. Bob Rottella "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect".  These books will shed some great light on the mental side of golf.

Remember to enjoy the game, no matter if you are shooting a 130 or a 40.

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Nobody can go from a 36 to an 8 in 3 months just because they want to. No matter how hard you work or how much you practice, you'll need the kind of talent that some have and most don't. I think a better approach would be to determine how much time you can spend practicing - and do it and see how much you can improve in 3 months.

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It took me 3 years to do that haha. from my freshman year of highschool I was a 44 hc and now I'm around a 4. Given I didn't practice at all.. I would just play the 3 summer months like June July and August and then quit. You will need to fuy dedicate yourself this summer and practice 4-5 hours a day. You can realistically get to around a 15-20 by the end of summer with hard work. I practice 2 hours every day and play after possibly. I aspire to play D-1 golf in a few years. Already playing my first 2 years of college at a D-3 school hopefully and then transferring. This is a very time consuming process and a hard journey you are about to go on. Your going to want to quit but as long as you understand the difficultys of doing anything new you'll make it. You can post any questions here and we can help you out! We all start somewhere

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Hmmm, lets see, a 3 month break coming up a 36 wants to get to a 8 or so. Tough goal to achieve. What I suggest is before you commit to hitting the range for hours on end not having a clue as to what you are "practicing " . Take some lessons from a pro first then you have a idea of What to practice and some idea of how to do it. Then you go back to him in a week to ten days and do it again, work on it some more and repeat.

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Originally Posted by RMolloy24

I just joined here and I'm starting to play golf more and more, especially with a 3 month summer break coming! Anyway, I'm only 13 and I have a 36 HI and I really wanna get down to at least 8. How often should I practice? Also, I really need to improve my driving.

I'm glad you said you are only 13.  I thought you were my son starting to post here. :)

My son played at golf, can't really say he ever really played golf, up until he was about 9 years old.  Then he quit totally and devoted all his time to baseball.

This year, in February, he decided he was going to start playing golf again and go out for next year's golf team.  I said, "sure, right, go ahead".  Well, he is.  And he is practicing and playing just about every day with conviction.  Has he gotten down to an 8 yet?  Nope.  But, he has a better chance now than he did when he first started out in February.

So, if you have an real established 36 handicap already, you are playing golf...right?

You need to go out and play a few rounds and determine where all your strokes are going.  You need to keep stats.  How many fairways did you miss?  How many greens did you miss?  How many putts did you take during the round?  For the greens you miss...how many left, how many right, how many short?  Most people don't miss long (I do).  Basically, what did you do wrong on every hole.  What would you have needed to do on each hole if you wanted to shoot 80?

As my son has been told, not just by me, standing on the driving range hitting 300 yard drive after drive after drive does not improve your game.  But, if you need to improve your driving, you may need to hit more drivers for a while.  Practicing a bad swing does not fix anything. You need to know what you are doing wrong.

Find someone to video tape your swing from facing you angle and from directly back of you looking down the target line. Compare your swing to any pro golfer's swing you can find on the internet. Where does yours look different? Study it, try to swing the way they do.  You can do this with most any phone these days.

You need to know how far you can hit every club in your bag.  Know it, memorize it.  If you are on the course and there is not wind, you are at 160 yards...you should know exactly what club that is.  If it is uphill, add a club.  If it is downhill, one less club.  These are just some general rules of thumb to help you determine what club to hit and not question it.  Pull the club, commit to the shot, hit it.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got when learning how to play golf was "try to trap the ball and hook every shot you hit with every club except the putter.  You can fix a hook.".

You need to hit 100s of balls every day and try to play at least 9 holes every day to track your progress.

Count every stroke...no cheating...count the OBs, the water balls, everything.  You have to know your real score is to know if you are truly improving.

Never lie to yourself about how you really did, count all the strokes.

One more thing...one more important thing...see the clubhead hit the ball every time.

Best of luck to you.  You have a very lofty goal.  I really do hope you achieve it.

Golf is a wonderful game.  It can open a lot of doors to you as your grow older.  It will enable you to meet lots of people who may become your lifelong friends.  Enjoy it, frustrating as the game can be.  Please, golf is a game of honor, respect it.  There is no other game like it.  Enjoy it and have fun along the way.

Oh, BTW, your 13, you don't need to be playing from 7000 yards yet.  In a couple of years...yes...now..NO!

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If you love the game, the dream situation is a youth membership. Youth memberships are only a few hundred bucks at many public courses.  Your parents will spend more $$ during the course of a summer paying for each bucket and green fee.   If you get a cheap membership,  you can play everyday and essentially live at the golf course!!  Your parents can drop you off on their way to work in the morning, and then pick you up in the evening on their way home!!

I didn't start playing until I was grown and married, but I whish I found the game much sooner and could have spent my summers on the golf course.

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Note: This thread is 2625 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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